Clever/Latest & Best mnemonics for learning Japanese vocabulary?


I would like to know which are in your opinion the BEST mnemonics for acquiring Japanese Vocabulary. Hopefully they are clever and the latest for such a purpose too.

I have a vocabulary book with around 8000 entries arranged by topic…(of all sorts)
They include the Japanese term and a translation. Kanji is provided too, but I feel this must be treated separately. (If you agree).

I was thinking the Japanese term must somehow get converted into a vivid image… perhaps by assigning a PAO for every consonant group or so, and then linking it all together… might memory palaces come in handy here too?

So again, I’m interested in knowing what you think will be most efficient.

Thanks in advance for the time taken into this matter! I appreciate it!

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I tried using my number system for Japanese syllables, since there weren’t many. Didn’t work for me.

There are two major methods for learning vocabulary, but I prefer the linking method. Start with the kanji. Is it one you know? If so use your meaning for that kanji, if not make an image using the radicals. Next, make an image with the pronunciation, using what the syllables remind you of. Finally, make sure you have an image that unambiguously links to the meaning.

For example, if the word was 価格 (かかく) and you didn’t know the kanji (knowing them would make it too easy of an example) you could first imagine a person detonating a tree which is what the kanji look like to me. かか sounds like kakarot to me and く reminds me of a young boy (-kun) so I would imagine kid goku on the other side of the tree being blasted. The word means value or price so then kid goku would try to buy the tree but couldn’t because the price was too high.

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Alright, So that would involve including Kanji into the overall mnemonic framework/ equation.
Now, What if I wanted to skip/omit Kanji, and simply have the Japanese term and a translation. How would the mnemonic approach change?

I was thinking of literally “encoding” the precise Japanese term: Assigning a PAO for each consonant group (かーさーたーなーはーまーやーらーわーん) , then adding “accessories” to determine the precise consonant + vowel combination: a Hat for あ , a cigarette for い, a bucket for う, a cape for え, and a ring for お ; I would then link everything together and associate it with an image of the translation; If I also have it arranged by topic, I might drop the terms into a memory palace as well.

Could this be improved upon?

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If you wanted to skip the kanji that makes it easier. Kanji is important so I wouldn’t recommend that but you can learn how you want to. Simply take your image for the pronouciation of the word and link it to the meaning. That’s 2 things you have to link and remember instead of 3.

If you are saying what I think you are, I did indeed try what you are thinking of. Encoding Japanese syllables as images that are the same every time did not work very well for me. Remember my image of kid goku for かかく? The PAO version of that is not as memorable. First you have to remember more things. Second, they are images you have used many times before so it’s easier to confuse your words with each other. Japanese has relatively few sylllables which allows you to do this kind of thing, but the vast number of homonyms will confuse you.

Number systems (and cards, etc) are good with numbers because the numbers are completely random, but here I think you want to come up with nonrandom images that change based on the word.

The developer of Anki lives (I think) in Japan. He answers forum posts related to Kanji:

There are many Kanji addons for Anki. I have no idea what they do, but the list is here: